FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO -- My daughter and I just finished coming from a movie, and since she skipped dinner and went swimming earlier, she had quite the appetite. The first place we came across was a Sonic. I was driving my 2002 Chevy Silverado (foreshadowing), and drove past the dine-in area where you can park and eat, and onto the drive-through area. The intercom (order box) is on the backside in the middle of a U-turn. There are yellow pylon-like barriers on the outer edge (passenger side). The barriers leave very little room for any vehicle other than a compact or mid-size.
Being in the Silverado, I pulled around the outside of them, as though I was just going to drive through the parking lot. I then checked to make sure no one else was in line or coming anytime soon, and then began to back up to the intercom from the front side. As soon as I had my truck positioned, a young man (presumably 16+/-) then came over the intercom and asked me to pull all the way around the building, past the pick-up window and all the way around from where I just came from. I asked him what the problem was.
I thought for a split second that may be I hadn't tripped their sensor, but then immediately realized that I had to have, or else how was he talking to me, without visual eye contact. The next response uttered from his mouth nearly floored me. He said because I had backed in, and they don't like people doing that. I said, "Okay, well my truck didn't fit through the U-turn, yada-yada-yada, but I'm here now." Can you still take my order. If his first statement wasn't shocking enough, the next sentence flabbergasted me. He said I STILL needed to pull around because "he saw me back-in". It was as though he was attempting to play a power trip.
He physically wanted to see me pull around or else he wasn't going to take my order. I told him that I am sitting at the intercom, regardless of how I arrived there, so would he please take my order. That's when things got interesting. He snaps, "FINE... WHAT CAN I GET YOU THEN!" I said I would like a #1 (Sonic Burger w/ fries & a medium Dr. Pepper). He began asking mayo, mustard, or ketchup... fries or tots, etc... and cutting me off each time before I could complete my answer. My daughter said, "What's his problem?" I told her I'm not sure, but I've had enough of this conversation and condescending attitude for one night.
I asked to speak to his manager. A few seconds later, a very polite woman asked me to pull forward to the window. She was very apologetic and sincere, and asked me to repeat my order. I did and she rang up the transaction very professionally. End of story, right? WRONG! This is where things really take off and escalate. A different young woman, about the same age as the young man I dealt with earlier on the intercom, comes to hand us our bag of food (no drink). She slides the window open and literally STARED at my daughter and I for what seemed like an eternity, with the cheesiest smirk I have ever seen in my life. No exaggeration!
The look on her face spoke with a sarcastic tone saying, "Go ahead... enjoy the spit." My daughter looked at me and said, "What was that all about?" I said, "Okay, then you saw her expression too. It wasn't just my imagination." I then yelled through the window (not because I was mad, but because they closed it and couldn't hear me), "Excuse me!" The manager slid the window open and asked what else I needed. I said that they hadn't given me my drink. And I also questioned her as to the attitude of the lady that handed the food to us. She asked what I was talking about. My daughter and I both explained the sneer and smirk she had given us.
Again, the manager apologized. She was very professional. As she was talking and apologizing to us, another crew member (thuggish looking) was peering through the window over the manager's shoulder. I asked her what his problem was, and that I didn't need an audience and didn't appreciate the intimidating feeling my daughter was beginning to have. I could tell by her body language that she was getting extremely uncomfortable. The manager then asked me to calm down. I politely told her I was very calm, that it was in fact the rest of her crew that needed to calm down.
I asked for the store #, along with the General Manager's phone number. Being that it was pretty late, I'll have no choice but to visit in the morning. It comes as no great surprise to any of the regular members on this site just how much I eat out at fast food restaurants. Let me tell you... I WILL NEVER EAT AT THIS LOCATION AGAIN. Somethings I can let slide, while others I cannot. This is falling under the latter of the two. I will contact the General Manager tomorrow, and if I don't feel an acceptable resolution and apology has been made to my daughter and I, I will take it a step further and go to corporate.
I will keep you updated for those that are reading this review. P.S. The manager on-shift that night (sorry I didn't catch her name) was EXTREMELY professional in dealing with me as a customer. It was the other three employees that have no business whatsoever in the customer service industry. FYI... I drove down the street, ordered McDonald's and threw the bag of Sonic in the trash. We both looked at each other and were FULLY convinced they spit in it or something worse.
BUFORD/FLOWERY BRANCH/BRASELTON, GEORGIA -- Sonic Not-so-Special 5 for $5.95. Funny thing how advertising works for this company. Most days I pass through Sonic (which avgs 3 times a week) they have signs posted on their marquee and around the drive-through and the drive up window with their " for $5.95 Tuesday special". Of course, today is Tuesday so I head over to get their advertised special. Upon arrival, I look for the signage to confirm I've come on the correct day. Not a single sign in sight anywhere on the premise.
With the employee coming over the intercom asking for my order, I stated "Is today the 5 for $5.95 special??" The reply was "What would you like on your burgers?". Again I asked, "is this the day for the 5 for $5.95 special". The reply this time was "yes, would you like cheese on your burgers?". My reply followed as "I'd like whatever comes on them with the $5.95 special". Their reply was "you can get them any way you want". I replied "OK, however them come. I'd also like.. (drinks and tots)". They told me the total cost and said to pull to the window.
I paid the amount told to me $17.56. Took my food and headed home. Once home, I decided to look over the receipt to confirm the $5.95 special. So.. doing a little math: $14.95 - 6.50 = $8.45 - funny, that's NOT $5.95. Next step called the store asked for the manager. The gentleman on the phone says "speaking". I asked "Is this the manager?" The reply "Yes". I asked "What is your name?" His reply "**".
I proceeded to explain: "I just went through the drive-through, and asked for the $5.95 special. The receipt says they charged $14.95 then gave a credit of $6.50, that means they charged me $8.95 for my $5.95 special." His reply "It's extra for the cheese". My response "I asked for the $5.95 special, they asked if I wanted cheese, I said I'll take whatever comes on them for the $5.95 special. I never did say I wanted cheese". His response "Well, we make the burgers individually to whatever you want". I responded "I told the order taker 3 times, whatever comes on the $5.95 special".
He finally said "I'm sorry for YOUR confusion. The cheese is 40 cents extra per burger. I can put your name in our book for a credit for the cheese on your next visit. If you give me your name, I'll credit you with a $2 coupon". I accepted his offer at face value and gave my name - conversation ended. But then after hanging up.. it hit me.. $8.45 - $2.00 = $6.45. Still NOT $5.95 - I'm still screwed.
So, I call back the store. ** answers. I stated "I just called a minute ago about the $5.95 special issue. Are you the location manager or shift manager?" His reply "I'm the assistant manager." I then asked for the store location number (5756 Spout Springs Road) and the general manager's name (**). Told him I'd be contacting the general manager, the district manager, corporate headquarters and that I'd be posting this anywhere & everywhere I can on the internet.
One other thing I've been pondering is their special for slush drinks. Seems they have afternoon half price specials. I've noticed they seem to charge a "surcharge" of 20 cents for the flavor on these drinks. If I get this right, with the price and surcharge, that comes to more than half price. Does anyone besides me see deceptive advertising and practices here??? Any legal eagles want to file a class action suit to get their attention?? Maybe the greed for profits has skewed the focus of management, but considering a similar issue has occurred in my past with this company, it seems to be a business plan in place to accomplish this deception.
Advertising, discounts and specials used to bring in new customers, used to give a value to existing loyal customers, used to bring in revenue and interest in otherwise slow time periods for the business. So much for good rapport with your customer base Sonic!! So, if you're tired of being taken advantage of or if you've had the same discourteous schemes played out against you, feel free to write me with your stories, and I'll gladly post them on every board I come across that I can post on.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I have been to this particular Sonic drive in several times and each time I am met with poor customer's services ranging from delay of orders, others lanes served first even though they came later, to refusing to have manager speak to customer for specific complaints at time of service. This Sonic located on Hillcroft street, in Houston, Texas 77036 by the 59 Freeway. The most recent incident occurred on May 25, 2008 about 3 pm. I placed 4 drink orders (tea and sonic blast). Waited and waited, then I saw the next lane gotten his order even though he came later.
I pushed the red order button and waited, finally a lady ask what is my order after I make her aware of my concern. She then asked what is my order?? Duh, shouldn't that be on their screen, my car hasn't moved from the stall. More waiting time for another 5 minutes, car hop brought the drink orders, no telling which container for what flavor, unlabeled. I told her I waited a long time for the order and asked to speak to the manager.
This unseasoned teenager dropped all my sugar packets on the ground and asked that I pay for the order and slapped the change on my hand. She told me the delay was because my order involved ice-cream and it take a long time. I asked her "does that mean they have to milk the cow first?!!!" What a bogus bucket full of ????. I told her I need to speak with the manager and she told me she is busy and walked off. I pushed the red button and another person came on and told her I will need to speak with the manager, I was told I need to wait because WE are BUSY.
I waited and waited with no response and I pushed the red button again, the person told WE are BUSY and tell me "GOOD-BYE". I am furious at this point with such poor attitude from the car hop to the so-call manager through the intercom. I drove around the drive through lane and parked, walk up to the front door and asked to have manager to speak to me. I waited another 10 minutes while their car hops go in and out of their door.
Finally, a lady came out and told me they are busy and not much they can do at this point. I told her I have a simple order of 2 drinks (tea) and 2 sonic icecream blast (which she admit only take less than 5 minutes to make), yet I waited more than 15 minutes for the order while others gotten theirs. Again, she brushed me off simply because "WE are BUSY". I wanted to know her name and asked her several times and she walked back into the store seems unconcerned. I would like to know from the franchise owner a full explanation, and how does he want to have customer return to his business.
BRISTOL, VA -- Ordering the .99 sundae... the nerve.. I go with my family, order 4 .99 sundaes after asking to confirm they are .99. The sundaes are brought to me and am told the charge is $6.00. I asked how that is if 4 X .99 = $3.96, the reply was "well they are normally $2.19 you still are getting a deal." Then I asked for a manager who came out and argued with me in front of my family. So the ticket reads subtotal = $5.36 and the tax = $.64 is a Bristol, VA Sonic off Exit #7.. I paid and called the corp # and was told that they were sorry this happened and for my experience but no attempt to make it right... Don't go here is my suggestion. Go get the sundaes elsewhere.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- ** says, "Your comment is awaiting moderation." May 19th, 2009 at 8:51 am, greed abounds. The federal government says that “tipped” employees (even if it isn't done by many of you very often) do not have to be paid minimum wage. Here in Texas, most Sonic pay 3.13 to carhops. And most of you think that Sonic employees don't deserve to be tipped? You wonder why you get bad service? Try tipping. You see, McDonald's, Hardee's, etc. don't have a tradition of tipping, and consequently, they DO receive the hardly adequate minimum wage.
The employer takes advantage of the law, and though they know that Sonic canceled credit card tips on their new machines, they take advantage of the car hop and lower the wage, knowing many days they don't make this minimum wage. We believe that Sonic canceled the credit card option to prevent theft, which does occur EVERYWHERE…. but the solution is not to cancel the credit card tip option. You prosecute the thief. People steal everywhere. What if a clothing store shut down because they wanted to control theft. Stupid, huh? Sonic needs to bring back credit card tips, which would improve service, believe me.
What kind of employees are going to stay working at Sonic for 3.13 an hour (that's all most servers in restaurants get also). It is hot outside, and with everyone running their vehicles incessantly (why?) you can't believe the heat. Sonic is quite a bit more difficult than you would think, that is if you do it right. Ever tried skating serving food? The other aspect to good service is a good manager. Carhops don't have control over a poorly run store, where the manager under-hires to put more money in his pocket.
You love Sonic? I do too, and was one of their top employees, but won't go back unless they change the credit card status. I'm one of the best (been tipped 100 dollar bills, believe it or not) but now am only worth 3.13? Customers, stop taking advantage of this credit card situation, and TIP, in cash or don't eat there. Call the company to re-engage the credit card situation to get back all of us good employees (years of experience). Your phone calls will work, eventually, and then, you will get great service at many Sonics again.
Until then, stay away. Nobody wants to do their best if they are only getting this little amount. Remember, you don't have to tip if the service is not adequate. Running in and outside is very different from working in air conditioning. Sometimes, it is almost unbearable.
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Tonight's the second time a Sonic restaurant has gotten my order horrendously wrong. The first time was when I ordered a #5, tots and root beer at the one near my workplace. Now, I walked there, and I'm sitting in the little table area. Apparently, they must have given my order off to someone else. I waited for 10 minutes and got rather impatient, so I asked one of the people there to check on my order for me.
I told him exactly what I ordered, a #5 with large tots and a large root beer. Instead, I got a #5 with small fries and a root beer with no ice. The receipt stated that whoever ordered this didn't even get root beer, no, they got a sprite, and I never said "no ice" either. I was already running a little late getting back from lunch so I didn't want to wait God knows how long just to get my order straightened out. I have to think, how the hell does someone who ordered fries and a sprite with no ice walk off with root beer WITH ice and tots?
Second time (tonight), I ordered a #5 and a peanut butter shake, pretty simple right? Well, apparently not, again the only thing right with the order was the burger. The shake tasted like either caramel or butterscotch, two flavors I absolutely cannot stand in, on, or around ice cream, or even by themselves for that matter. I didn't check the shake until I got home, so at that point I didn't feel like wasting more money in gas driving back to get it corrected (assuming they even would) so I just chucked the shake in the garbage can.
How do you screw up a milkshake? I mean seriously, you should be able to tell the difference between peanut butter and caramel, or whatever the hell was put in my shake. Here's some food for thought, what if I was allergic to peanuts and ordered a caramel shake? Then I'd be too busy rushing to the hospital to get a refund. Thanks a lot, Sonic. I'm never eating at Sonic's again. These two incidents happened at two different locations, the only two Sonic restaurants in my town, so I don't have a "third option" anyway. Try hiring some people that can get the order right, seriously.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I ordered and PAID with a gift card (not Sonic's) but when my order was brought I was told they just needed to see my card and no additional charges would be made (dumb I know). When I checked my card the next day I saw two charges from Sonic... my original and another LARGER price. I called corporate and filed a report and told someone would follow up with me. That was LAST MONTH!!! I called back after about a week and my contact info was confirmed and I was told they were sorry and someone would get back with me - didn't happen.
I called back the FOLLOWING week again! Same thing... confirm my contact info and said sorry someone would get back with me. I told them I would be filing with the BBB and would contact the local one myself to see if it would help expedite things. The manager wanted to know if I had the copies of the two original receipts. I told him no I didn't keep my first receipt and if I had received a second receipt I would have resolved it then. I told him I could provide a copy of my statement showing the two DIFFERENT charges on the same day and location, etc.
I took time out of my day and drove over there to turn it in and was told he would match my statement to the customer receipts from that day and would get back with me. Again didn't happen. Contacted the local Sonic drive in where the overcharging took place today and spoke to the manager again. He stated they had no RECORD of the two charges being made on that date. I interpreted that to mean I was being called a LIAR. He said he called Treasury and that he would let me know what they found out.
I then proceeded to call corporate again and tell them I wanted this resolved by this Wednesday seeing as it had been a MONTH already and nothing has been resolved!!! If it a $1 or 2 I wouldn't make a big deal about it. But it wasn't!!!! Plus the treatment I have received since then have just made me more upset over this whole issue which is why I want it resolved along with an APOLOGY at this point. Thanks!
LAFAYEETE, LOUISIANA -- What happened to me today is only the straw that broke the camel's back. I used to go to the Sonic on Johnston St. in Maurice (city right next to Lafayette), LA at least 2 times a week. Lately, I haven't been going because they can never get my order right. If I ask for mustard, they put mayo instead. If I ask for mayo, they put mustard instead. If I ask for jalapeños, they double my pickles. If I ask for no mayo and no tomatoes, they put mayo and tomatoes. I'm sure you get my point, but it is very aggravating.
Previously when I would go, there was a span of time where they messed up my order on 6 consecutive visits to their store (I actually kept a count after the 3rd time to see how much they could screw up). Now, after going back there (after about 4 months of boycotting this store), I ordered an order of mozzarella sticks, and they gave me no sauce. This was done after I said "Please make sure I have marinara sauce." What is so difficult about this?
I guess I'm partially to blame because I didn't check my order before I drove off, but if my boss had to second-guess everything I did like the "I-don't-care-what-you-ordered" employees of Sonic expect me to do, I would be out of a job. Then, to top it all off, I go to the Sonic website and there is no place to put a complaint. It doesn't even look like Sonic's upper-management cares that their employees are incompetent. They're simply here to make a buck. I can promise you that this is the last time I will ever go to Sonic, and this is a shame because Sonic used to be one of my favorite places to eat.
There is actually a McDonald's right across the street. I'm not a big fan of McDonald's, but at least they have enough intelligence to prepare the food the way it was ordered. Sincerely, Mr. Sick-Of-Sonic-Incompetence.
BURLINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- I will not be eating at the Burlington NC Sonic on hwy 70 ever again! The male manager was childish in not wanting to give our money back, and proceeded to be confrontational with a female customer to the point that a ale customer had to step in. When we told him we would complain about his bad attitude and service, and not wanting to give money back to us after getting the order wrong three times. He also proceeded to be confrontational to the point we had to call cops on him just to get our money back! All he had to do was give our money back. He did not want to, so he tried to fight the female and come into her face.
Therefore, the cops were called because he was looking a fight, so as to not have to give the money back. (For those who do not understand, cops were called because the manager was looking to fight customers rather than giving their money back so they could leave. Manager was getting out of hand and looking to fight.) Had to call the cops for him and everything, just to get him to not look a fight with us, and also to get our money back.
We told the officer he could have been doing something else, rather than coming to deal with this immature male manager; where all he had to do was give money back and not come into a customer's face as if he was going to fight them, especially a female. If the manager had just given the money back from the beginning without the cops having to tell him to, there would have been no need for the officer call. Manager just did not want to give our money back for a wrong order and bad service and proceeded to be confrontational. "That is why the cops were called." for the potential fight.
No manager should look a fight with any customer. All he had to do was give the money back. He was childish and immature, especially for wanting to confront a female customer to fight. The cop was called to put the manager in his place and stop him from causing an unnecessary brawl. We got our money back though! He still needs to be written up for being confrontational with customers. Very unprofessional.
We are not going back to the Sonic in Burlington, NC off of hwy 70 again off of exit 140. They do not care about the customers and hire children to work that have no customer service skills whatsoever. Manager has a nasty attitude, bad customer service skills, and made us a wrong order three times. It was a simple order. Not going back to that location, or any Sonic for this matter.
CLOVIS, NEW MEXICO -- The Sonic on Prince Street in Clovis, NM has a drive-through, in addition to the drive-in slots. They also have the worst possible customer service I have ever experienced. For example, they often run out of the very things they advertise on radio and TV. This morning at 9 AM, they ran out of coffee. Nobody in the building knew how to make more. Worse, nobody in the building cared enough to inform me what was going on, though I could clearly see the drama unfolding through the window.
I, the customer, had to knock on the window. I explained that I was out of time to wait, and asked if I could come back. That was met with hesitation and resistance, and a question about whether or not I wanted hot sauce for my burrito. I said yes, then explained that I no longer had time to wait for the coffee. I did not ask for a refund, because in the past, that has only led to another ten-minute long ordeal involving some manager and the cash register. I was out of time. I drove off coffee-less, and with a handful of ketchup, not the hot sauce that was offered. That happens nearly all the time.
I will not be back to this Sonic for a long, long time. Too bad, because the food is actually really good. All fast food restaurants need to do better at seeing things from the customer's point of view. That little sign when you pull up that says: "We are glad to provide condiments upon request" needs to come down. Why put the onus on customers? If you order fries, the employee needs to ask if you want ketchup. If you order cheddar peppers, the restaurant needs to ask if you want ranch dressing or ketchup.
Better yet, they need to just provide these items that so obviously go along with these type of orders. And if ranch dressing is requested, don't blindly, unthinkingly, throw ketchup in the bag instead. Maybe Sonic needs to get out of the drive-through business altogether, and just stick to being a drive-in. In any case, please, pay attention to your customers!